GTX Film Festival: Local nonprofit excited for first back-to-back in-person events

From left: Charlene Grant, Lisa Wasiak, Lisa Welch and Cindy Weigand help lead the GTX Film Festival. (Eddie Harbour/Community Impact Newspaper)
From left: Charlene Grant, Lisa Wasiak, Lisa Welch and Cindy Weigand help lead the GTX Film Festival. (Eddie Harbour/Community Impact Newspaper)

From left: Charlene Grant, Lisa Wasiak, Lisa Welch and Cindy Weigand help lead the GTX Film Festival. (Eddie Harbour/Community Impact Newspaper)

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The awards for the inaugural GTX Film Festival are seen. (Courtesy Lisa Welch)
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FIlmmakers and fans mingle at the 2019 GTX Film Festival. (Courtesy Lisa Welch)
After several years of trying to launch a film-centric conference in Georgetown, Cindy Weigand said she knew she needed to pivot, so three years after first envisioning a nonprofit-run film event in Georgetown, she spearheaded the inaugural GTX Film Festival.

On Oct. 1, Weigand and her team will hold the fourth iteration of the festival that has evolved and changed since that first effort.

“In 2019 we did the first one, and it was fun to meet all the filmmakers, and I think everybody had a good time. It was a good way to start out,” Weigand said. “We had about 200-300 people come out; we kind of lost count after a while, honestly. And then comes COVID-19.”

So while the GTX team would have liked to have seen some attendance growth in year two at City Lights, the local 12-screen movie theater that hosts the event, they were forced to hold a virtual festival via social media due to the pandemic. In 2021, though, they held a hybrid event of virtual and in-person screenings in September over three days and are now on track for its first years of back-to-back, in-person events.

This year, the group has pared that down to one day of screenings with a kickoff event the previous night to get the festivities rolling. The group will continue to accept submissions until May 31 in nine different categories for this year’s festival.


“We are going to be one day this year because we are a small crew, and we realized, as lofty as our goals are, it becomes really difficult to wrangle two, three days of films,” said Lisa Wasiak, the group’s program director. “Instead of doing three days, let’s focus on one day being great. It feels really manageable for us.”

In addition to showcasing an array of Texas films, GTX also offers free submissions in the Youth Short category for those age 17 and under.

“The [young filmmakers] get to meet a lot of filmmakers when they are at the festival,” GTX Vice President Charlene Grant said. “The filmmakers are very accessible, and I can’t think of one time where a filmmaker didn’t want to talk to somebody that wanted to talk.”

Overall, GTX aims to keep its submission and admission fees generally reasonable when compared to other area festivals.

“Affordability is a big thing for us,” Weigand said. “We want people to be able to come enjoy the film, and we don’t want it to be expensive for the filmmakers to submit.”

https://gtxfilmfestival.godaddysites.com/
By Eddie Harbour

Editor, Cedar Park/Georgetown/Leander

Eddie joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2021 and has been a reporter and editor over the past two decades including lengthy stays at the Antelope Valley Press (Palmdale, Calif.) and Santa Barbara News-Press. He relocated to the Austin area in 2014 from his native California.